Fine Points of the Law

At a special session of Arizona’s Court of Appeals in April, judges heard arguments on whether a bag of methamphetamine had been legally seized by police, who had a search warrant but not the authority to inspect body “cavities.” The bag had been partially protruding from a certain cavity, and an officer pulled it out. The defense lawyer argued that the only legal precedent involved items hidden between posterior “cheeks” (i.e., where contraband would not be so secured), and thus that pulling it out was an invasion of privacy. However, the prosecutor, claiming that the bag was in plain sight and would have fallen out eventually, asked rhetorically, “Where does the butt end and the anus begin? … The buttocks is just the bell end of the trumpet, and I don’t think you (judges), for constitutional reasons, want to go there.”

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